IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING!! That’s the thought that went through my mind for most of the day on Tuesday; I felt like I was in a dream. To start things off, Disney started something new recently for the Disney College Program; DCPs are now sent itineraries a few days prior to check-in with information that use to be given the day of. This itinerary includes check-in time, the complex you will be living in, when your casting & traditions are, and where your work location is. In past years all DCPs checked in at Vista Way then reported to the apartment complexes assigned to them. Recently, to speed up the process you are now given your complex ahead of time and you check in there. There are also multiple check in times to keep the lines from getting too long. It doesn’t hurt to be early for check in, but I don’t recommend showing up more than about 15 minutes early from your time or else they will make you wait in the parking lot. I was assigned Chatham Square (My first choice!!) so at 9am I was driving through the security check in! I reported to the clubhouse where I got a helpful DCP guide notebook, took my housing ID picture, was given my apartment key, and got a parking decal for my car. The whole process only took about 20 minutes, which is much faster than stories I’ve heard from past years.
After that, I had a little while to go to my apartment and start unpacking before my 10:45 casting time. My apartment is a spacious 3 bedroom, 3 bath space with a kitchen, living room, dining room nook, and a balcony/patio (were on the first floor). I was able to meet two of my 5 roommates when I first arrived at the apartment. The rest either hadn’t checked in yet or were already on their way to casting.
When the time came around for casting I walked to the bus stop and met a few other new CPs. Casting was running slightly behind so the buses came late. I ended up being able to go to casting with one of my roommates, Emily, who had the 10:30 casting time! On the bus ride there will be a guide at the front discussing the program and playing trivia with everyone on board (I won a key chain). Disney music will play on the loud speakers and when you get close to the park entrance your guide will start the countdown. It’s an exciting experience to hear everyone cheer once you enter through the Disney World arch. Once arrived at casting, you are escorted inside (notice the Alice in Wonderland doorknobs) and then it’s time to wait. Casting as a whole takes about an hour and a half. Once in the main entrance there is a line where you can meet other CPs, listen to cast members share their disney journey’s, and meet Kent, the creator of the DCP. (don’t forget to look up in the main entrance and look at all the gold statues!) Once you get through the line the first stop is sitting with a recruiter and filling out the I-9 form to prove you are who you say you are. (I suggest you write on the recruiters windows with the window markers, it’s fun!) In the next room, a cast member will do a quick once-over to make sure you understand and are following the Disney Look rules. Next, you will go over your orientation training schedule with a cast member and they will help you with any questions you might have. Lastly, all DCPs are finger printed and then you are free to go! Even though the process was long, it was fun! Everyone (DCPs and cast members) were so nice and made the process go by quickly.
Once back at the room, I was able to finish unpacking and meet more roommates. The day flies by. That night I went to Disney Springs with my parents as a final goodbye. When it was finally time to go back to the apartment and fully start my experience I couldn’t help but cry. This is a big step for me and of course I’m excited, but now that it was finally here it was almost a little scary. I know there are going to be times where I’m homesick and miss my family. Whenever I feel nervous or scared I will just remind myself that I’m here at my second home, taking part in an experience that many only dream of partaking in. Yes saying goodbye was hard, but I am so excited for what this semester is going to hold! Once I finally arrived back at my apartment I finished meeting all of my roommates and we watched a movie together! Down below you will find the link to my check-in day video, please feel free to watch and subscribe! My next blog post and video should be coming out shortly, possibly even today!
Toria’s Tales of Disney Video: Toria’s Tales of Disney: Check-In and Casting